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On 12 March 2020, the Australian Federal Government announced its first package (AUD17.6 billion) of measures to respond to the current economic challenges confronting the Australian economy as a result of the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This was followed by a second package announced on
22 March 2020 which brings the total relief by all arms of Government to AUD189 billion. The focus of the relief package is supporting businesses and employers to keep operating as best and for as long as they can and so as to be in the best-placed position when this crisis has passed to help keep Australians in jobs. From a tax perspective, it includes significant concessions for capital investment in the form of enhanced tax write-offs for depreciable assets, as well as cash flow assistance to small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit employers.

The States and Territories have also announced their own stimulus packages to support businesses, with most offering some form of relief in relation to payroll tax.

In this TaxTalk Alert, we summarise the relief currently available to businesses at both the Federal and State level, including administrative concessions announced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).